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Subject

Violette Szabo, GC, CdeG

Person  Female  Born 26/6/1921  Died 5/2/1945

Categories: Espionage, Execution

Countries: France

British secret agent in WW2. Born in Paris as Violette Bushell of a French mother and English father who met in WW1. With 4 brothers she was a bit of a tomboy. From Violette Szabo Museum "The Bushells moved between France and England for some years. After finally settling at 18 Burnley Road, Stockwell ... in 1932".

Met Etienne Szabo at the Bastille Day celebrations in London in 1940. The Violette Szabo Museum has a photo of the pair at Burnley Road. They quickly married, had a child and then Etienne was killed at El Alamein in October 1942. This prompted Violette to join the SOE. On her second mission she was captured. This was followed by interrogation and torture. She was executed at Ravensbruck concentration camp on or about 5 February 1945, aged 23. Posthumously awarded the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre. The book and film of the same name 'Carve her name with pride' tell her story and we defy you to keep eyes dry when the poem 'The life that I have' is recited.

2019: Peter Huddart reminded us of the moving poem associated with Szabo. Written on Christmas Eve 1943 by her SOE controller, Leo Marks, in memory of his girlfriend Ruth, who had just died in a plane crash in Canada. Original poems were a key element in the encryption method used and Marks issued this poem to Szabo:

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours
And yours

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This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Violette Szabo, GC, CdeG

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Morley mosaics - KEW - Violette Szabo

Violette Szabo, born 1921. Violette was a member of the British secret milita...

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Szabo mural

Violette Szabo 1921 - 1945

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Szabo plaque

In memory of Violette Szabo GC and the Stockwell residents who gave their liv...

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Violette Szabo home

Violette Szabo, GC, 1921 - 1945, secret agent, lived here. She gave her life ...

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Violette Szabo & SOE

Unveiled by the Duke.

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